Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Dr. Richard DeParis
Recording police officers can result in distraction, fear, and false perceptions of law enforcement personnel when citizens upload the videos to social media, though little is understood about police perceptions of this phenomenon. Using evaluation apprehension theory, emotional labor theory, and emotional intelligence as the foundation, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the feelings and experiences of police officers recorded by citizens with cell phone cameras while working. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 10 police officers in the State of Indiana who were recorded with cell phone cameras. The data were transcribed, inductively coded, and then subjected to descriptive 7 steps, thematic, and cross-case analysis procedures. Key findings suggest officers experienced feelings of disengagement from duties when recorded by citizens. Results revealed concerns of professional appearance, self-reputation, and self-esteem. However, the study also indicated that the application of emotional intelligence and emotional labor from leadership could be used to assist officers in managing such disengagement. The implications for social change provided by this study include the development of training materials for law enforcement professionals who work through emotional intelligence while fostering opportunities for community engagement. For the public, this study provides an educational opportunity for the community to understand the feelings and significances of police officers who are recorded.